These are words that have swirled through my mind the last year. Wondering where the balance is. Where is Truth, Honesty and Transparency. This could apply to anything your child is passionate about, so just replace our jargon with your own as you read on.
We have had a whirlwind year with our son finding his passion. He is a beginner, on a beginner board, performing beginning moves. But he is sold out full of stoke. They call him the Fearless Charger. He’ll take any set, any wave, just for 5 more minutes of trying his next maneuver. I spend hours on the beach watching as surfers, active and retired come to talk to “Jon’s Mom”. They share their stoke and their joy for watching his fresh approach to surfing. I hear from older surfers that it ignites the stoke in them, and have heard countless stories that start with ‘when I was 10’ or ‘when I started out’ and their eyes glaze over as they share their first years of pure naïve wonderful powerful stoke.
At first I thought I should put boundaries on it. After all, he’s really not that great. And it is all he ever talks, thinks, sings, writes and dreams about. At the time, there was only one other teen in the water with him. Talking surf jargon non stop – would that alienate him from his baseball buddies and friends at youth group? How much could one person listen to surf reports and drop in stories before they start to move away?
And then we took a trip to Santa Cruz. A person could almost feel the stoke in the air. The surfing vibe radiated from every person on every corner. I’m not sure it would be possible to be ‘over the top’ with talking, living, being a surfer.
We came back renewed with a fresh vision – that if anything, the surfers in Oregon are so totally hedged back and lacking stoke at all. They have private adrenaline rushes that they choose not to share with anyone, other than the guy in the water. We chose the last 6 months to let Jon free. To surf as much as humanly possible, in any condition he wanted to go out in, and make as many surfing buddies as he could. We wouldn’t limit his stoke, joy, intense passion – and let him ride free.
The results have been astounding. He has grown in leaps and bounds with his skills. The results have shown through in 3 competitions this summer as well.
Pride. We are cautioned not to let Jon’s pride rise up. To let the success define his stoke. Stoke for the sake of winning or pleasing others with a performance. To display humility at all times thinking of other surfers before himself.
And I get this. I’ve seen it happen with every sport and competition out there. But we’re not competitive people. I think it comes from our home schooling years.
Gathering with all ages with various abilities and being able to communicate in a friendly manner. Learning how to share your passions and voice your desires in a group to make your voice heard, but not to overshadow the dream next to yours. Listening to dreams of others with the intent of building them up and fueling their joy.
We cloak ourselves with humility. Humility that comes from our faith. From the Spirit. Knowing that He created us. He formed us. He gives us abilities. He gives us drive. We are but servants, willing to be disciplined with our workouts, with our learning, and with our lives. He creates us all differently, and yet the same. Not everyone can be a world class Chef, nor does everyone want to. But may we celebrate world class Chefs for who they are and what they can do?
It weaves into our blogging. Ever present on my mind. Sharing our lives with transparency. Promoting the vendors that support us. Promoting our friends. Sharing great resources with the vendors. I’ve always thought that if I shared how our family homeschools, that any one else reading the blog would certainly know that ‘if they can do it, anyone can’. My desire has never been to write ‘how to homeschool’ posts, but rather, how we homeschool, just to share that it can be done. That you can do it.
My quandary today – is in forced humility. Having a passion, for anything, and keeping it to yourself. Having a triumph, a win, a victory – and feeling that it is wrong to share. It seems to elude truth. Your mind knows that you have accomplished something great. But you stuff it down. It always comes back to a heart issue. Being mindful of other’s feelings is important. Where is the balance?
I am excited for my leaps with surfing, SUP’ing and weight loss this summer. I have learned in town that people really don’t want to share in my victories. If I mention the loss, they criticize what they perceive I am doing with food. So far, every single critic has been wrong. So I join private closed groups on Facebook to chat it up and share the milestones with them.
I am following other grom mom blogs to see what their kiddos are up to and sharing our dreams with them.
Celebrate. I know we hear about inflated self esteem, over celebrating baseball victories, and pushing our kids over the top and setting them up for a huge reality check when they turn 18. I can’t tell you how much we lean towards the opposite of having them ready for that world today. Can’t we celebrate what deserves celebration? Without fear of perception of the audience?
Hard to put my thoughts on the keyboard this morning. It’s been swirling, swirling swirling stemmed from conversations in town this week. What are your thoughts on balancing pride and humility, false humility and inflated self esteem and celebration?